Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-15-06. Andy Furman was the host tonight. He said that the Reds claimed Matt Kata off waivers. Then Marty called in. They talked about the NCAA tournament for several minutes. Marty said most of the Reds players are really into it. Andy asked Marty about Jr.'s part in this Barry Bonds scandal. Marty said that he doesn't understand why people like Jr., Hank Aaron and Willie Mays keep supporting him. He said if he were Jr. and someone who was a steroid user like Bonds passed him up that he certainly wouldn't support him anymore. He said if Jr. can do that, he's a better man than he is but he wouldn't be able to. He said Selig has to do something or else he's going to look weak. He said this is a black eye for the game and these books came out right before the season is starting while the WBC is going on and that is no coincidence. Andy asked Marty if they were reaching the point where guys are ready to come north. Marty said there are some guys who are ready to start the season. He said beginning tomorrow you start looking at situations with a bit more concern, i.e. the Eric Milton situation. Now little injuries start to get magnified and you start to wonder about their availability for the regular season.
After commercial Andy asked Marty if there was cause for concern about Milton's calf injury. Marty said that's the type of injury where if it isn't fully healed, it will give you problems. He said if he pitches in the simulated game and makes his next two regular starts he should be OK to start the season. He said the Reds are being very cautious. Andy asked if Milton continues to struggle like he did last year, what do you do if you are the Reds. Marty said that he would put him in the bullpen. He said if he continually gets hammered you aren't going to have problems finding someone to pitch better. Andy asked Marty about Ed Encarnacion. Marty said he has been tearing the cover off the ball and he's benefited from playing winter ball. He said he's showing a level of patience that he didn't show when he was called up last year. He said he couldn't remember a guy having the kind of spring he's having in recent years. Marty said that his play at 3rd has been very good. He's been much more consistent about his throwing lately. Joe Torre and his coaches were very impressed with him. Marty said that Narron might hit him 6th in the order. Andy asked Marty about Austin Kearns. Marty said he's very concerned about him. He's swinging through a lot of good pitches and hitting an ugly .174. Marty said he's in outstanding shape so maybe that wasn't the major problem last year. He said if there's some turnaround in the next week or so, there's no problem. But if there isn't, then there should be some major concern.
After commercial, Steve Stewart called in. They talked hoops and what Steve did today for a while. Andy then asked him about DeWayne Wise and the spring he's been having and what are the chances he makes the team. Steve said that he's going to have to keep performing at the same or at a greater level to make the team. He thinks Wise's greatest competition is Quinton McCracken. Steve said Tuffy is doing well too and if Wise continues to do well, it would be difficult to keep him off the roster. Doc Kremchek came in to the studio and Andy asked him about Milton's injury. Doc K said, "(It's) nothing." Andy asked him about Harang and Doc K. said the same thing. Andy asked Doc K. about his reputation after he did the hamstring surgery on Jr. Doc said that he had a guy come in from New Hampshire just to have him fix his hammy. He said he's talked to Jr. and he's looking good and having a great time with the WBC and he's itching to come back. Andy asked him if he's done any more surgeries similar to Jr.'s. Doc K said that he did one on Luis Lopez and Jason Romano (Make your own jokes here J ) He said he did a couple of other guys too. Andy said Doc K. coined the term "sports hernia". Doc K laughed and said it's really caught on since he started treating Barry Larkin for it. He says the guys in the clubhouse give him grief about it and say (Earmuffs, Krono) "Doc, there's your sports hernia right there."
After commercial Andy asked why should we be excited about this season. Doc said that everyone is healthy and it's a great atmosphere and everyone is excited. Andy said pitching's a problem. Doc agreed and said the offense is great and mentioned that La Rue is taking the bull by the horns and really being a leader. He said Milton's really throwing well and said he's going to turn it around. After one of his simulated games, coaches were saying that they never saw him pitch like that before. Andy asked Doc about Paul Wilson and Doc said he is gaining strength and coming along and may be back by late April or early May, Steve said that he's an optimist and everyone in the rotation has a chance to get better. (I've got a chance to have a date with Eva Longoria but I think there is about as much a chance of happening as everyone in the rotation getting better.)
After commercial a caller asked who was the most improved player this spring. Steve said it was Ed E even though he had a good spring last year.
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-15-06. So let it be written. So let it be done.